When is the best time to drink coffee?

Morning? Afternoon? Tell me – what’s the best time of day to drink coffee?

There are 24 hours in a day (we know our stuff, huh?). But it turns out that not all 24 of them are best suited to drinking coffee. Now, we’re not saying there is a bad time to drink coffee, oh no. We (and the scientists) are just saying that there are some times in the day when coffee’s awesomeness is even more awesome!


Adding ground coffee to a portafilter


Coffee to see you through the day

We know that you lovely lot all take your coffee in different ways and at different times of the day. That’s why we source and roast our speciality coffees with the clock in mind. So, whether you like to roll out of bed and into your brew or are rather partial to an afternoon cup, we’ve got a coffee that’s perfect for you.

Be sure to check out this handy guide to choosing the best coffee for your cup – whatever time you take it!


holding a red coffee mug


Coffee in the morning

For many of us, mornings don’t begin until we’ve had our coffee. That lovely first sip? It’s the only thing that stops us hitting snooze just one. More. Time.

But, news flash. There might be a better time to drink your morning brew. This is all down to the hormone cortisol, which is at its highest in your body about 30 minutes after you wake up. Cortisol is made by the adrenal gland and is responsible for lots of the clever processes that go on inside the body, including your focus and alertness. Although it might not feel like it when your eyelids are dragging on the floor, your body is naturally most alert in the first hour or so after waking because your cortisol levels are at their peak.


Soya beans and Two Chimps mug - best milk for coffee


That early morning coffee is, therefore, giving a caffeine kick to your already awake body. And you don’t need a caffeine buzz to eat your cornflakes, do you? The sciencey experts suggest that we drink our morning coffee a few hours after waking instead. Shifting our first cup to around 10am, when the body’s cortisol levels are lower, will give your mind and body a boost and prevent a pre-lunch slump.

Some mornings just aren’t going to work without caffeine (our last one was, errr, this morning?). But give it a go sometime – try a mid-morning coffee break and see if it turbo-charges your AM!


Drips from double espresso


Drinking coffee before a workout: yea or nay?

Caffeine supplements have been popular with sports stars of every sort. From runners to weightlifters, gold medal winners to keen gym-goers, caffeine can help us all smash that next PB. It brushes up your reaction time and delays exercise fatigue, and improves muscles strength, too.

But when is the best time to drink coffee for optimum performance? Most research suggests that 45–60 minutes before your gym sesh is best, as this gives the caffeine enough time to absorb into your blood and reach its best level for exercise.


looking down on the hario scales with a chemex - two chimps coffee


How much coffee is best – we bet that’s your next question. 2–6 mg of caffeine per kg of body weight is ideal. The average cup of coffee contains about 100 mg of caffeine, so this works out at 1–2 cups for the average person.

We all need something to look forward to after a hard slog on the treadmill – what about coffee? We’d run a marathon for that. Good news, then, because enjoying coffee after exercise can help in the post-workout recovery. Drink a cup with carbs like a banana (ooooh, coffee banana smoothie, anyone?) to help tired limbs recover and ease muscle pain.


Glass of coffee smoothie with bananas


Will coffee keep me awake?

Caffeine can come into the firing line when we talk about sleep. Many a sheep-counting non-sleepers blame caffeine for their bleary eyes. Although recent research is finding that coffee may not be the big sleep baddie, many of us prefer to steer clear of caffeine in the afternoon. The effects of caffeine last for 3-5 hours, and studies suggest that it’s best not to drink coffee 6 hours before settling down. Of course, everyone is different. You might be able to drink a cup after dinner and still be asleep by 9!


1kg bag of coffee on table with mug


But if that’s not you, don’t worry. Scrummy hot drinks aren’t off the menu! Try premium decaffeinated coffee brewed using high-quality decaf beans. Or, if you’re looking for a brew with serious health benefits, grab a caffeine and calorie-free green tea. Light, sweet and perfect for sleepy heads!


Caffeine for weight loss

Cabbage soup, be gone – coffee can help you lose weight! Caffeine is one of the few substances that increases your basal metabolic rate (the rate your body burns calories when resting). One study even found that one to three cups of black coffee could help you burn an extra 150 calories each day. Blimey!

Time for another of those clever coffee chemicals… are you ready? This time it’s chlorogenic acid, a compound found in coffee that helps speed up weight loss. Drinking black coffee after dinner will introduce chlorogenic acid into your body and help to slow down glucose production after your meal.


Latte in a black cup with stack of magazines


Whether you want a brew before bed or espresso shots to power your squats, we’ve got a coffee for you!

Head over to the online shop to view our full speciality range!


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